You've got to protect your writing time when you're starting out. Find out when you can write and protect that time. You have to protect it. If you don't protect it, nobody will. You can accomplish a lot in two hours.
“After Hell” a supernatural drama, a mix of police procedural and “28 Days Later”-style Armageddon story. It’s enthusiastically presented and – the key to any good audio drama – uses an intelligent sound design to create spaces, describe scenes, illustrate scenes in detail.
I was sent one of the new CD copies from SciFind Ltd., UK based aggregator of all things scientifically fictional. I was sold on the concept, sight unseen – or sound unheard.
I love audio drama – as anyone who has heard my delightfully self-indulgent (yes, delightfully!) “Wretched Goo Of The Imagination” podcasts will tell you. One of my first forays into media production was the recording of a thrilling audio space adventure with my older brother. It was entitled “Face To Face With The Planet Scanodon!” and recorded in the living room of our Ohio apartment on glorious reel-to-reel tape. I wonder if my parents still have that tape in storage somewhere.
And I have not grown up – have not “changed my principles”, let’s say – that sounds better – one iota since then. Here is the planet Scanodon at The Cyclopedia Of Worlds:
The quality of writing and production design may have improved since I was seven years old, but the subject matter…remarkably the same.
Writer-director Joe Medina at Ollin Productions has put together something he should be proud of with “After Hell”. I think Orson Welles would agree with me, if he were animated and rotting next to me in some kind of horrific horror story way, that audio drama – radio drama, we used to call it – is it’s own, self-contained media form. Audio drama, like music, engages the mind and imagination directly – and can – in partnership with our brains – describe atmospheres, textures, spaces, and all manner of impossible absurdities (see again, The Wretched Goo Of The Imagination) with ease. I love it. And will do more of it myself some day, when I finish these several dozen other projects.
Well done, to Ollin Productions and the entire “After Hell” crew. Keep up the good work. We want more. We need more.
There’s this thing floating about: Without overthinking it, tell us 20 Things About Yourself.
Here are 20 Things About Myself – and I haven’t told anyone else but you about them:
1.) I used to drink so much coffee that…well, I would sometimes get home late at night and make a pot of coffee to drink before bed.
2.) I love my iPhone as much as I’ve loved any piece of technology before with the possible exception of my first Macintosh SE
3.) When I was very small I wanted to be a garbage collector, then a paleontologist, then a rock star, then a standup comic, then I turned 7 and outgrew all that.
4.) I was crazy about a Girl In A White Hooded Coat when I was in 1st grade. I didn’t know her name or anything about her. Now I have a little girl who wears a white hooded coat who I am crazy about.
5.) I was a national champion racewalker as a teen. I could’ve gone to the Olympics, but I discovered alcohol and show business and also discovered that I had no interest in going to the Olympics
6.) One of the greatest compliments I’ve ever been paid was by a USC teacher who worked with Orson Welles’ Mercury Theater company. He said: “A lot of these guys still need a lot of work. But you have got it.” I spent many years doing my best to prove him wrong.
7.) I believe that the space aliens with gray skin and big black eyes use element 115 to power their spacecraft by amplifying and directing gravity waves to compress space-time between themselves and their destinations.
8.) I believe that the U.S.A. has become a rogue nation that funds terrorism and has abandoned the rule of law and that, so far, the new administration has not changed this.
9.) I wrote and delivered long, crazy, romantic love letters to a girl when I was in 3rd and 4th grade. In junior high, she died of a brain tumor.
10.) The girl to whom I lost my virginity died in a car wreck my/our sophomore year in college. She apparently fell asleep at the wheel. In later years I also would frequently “fall asleep at the wheel”.
11.) Though I would like to say that the greatest influences on my creative life have been Shakespeare, Stanley Kubrick, and Vincent van Gogh, the truth is that the greatest influences have been Glen Larson, Gary Gygax, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.
12.) I have never actually read “Hamlet” in its entirety – ashamed to say – but I have seen a lot of the movie versions.
13.) I missed my first kiss – in a game of spin the bottle (though a pen was used in place of a bottle) – because when the time came, I chickened out and ran like hell. In later years, I went out with that girl who I didn’t kiss, and then did kiss her then, so…
14.) If I hate you, you will never know it. Also if I utterly love you, you will also never know it.
15.) I was not in a rock band in high school, but wanted to be and pretended I was.
16.) I have never seen a UFO or a ghost or a bigfoot or an angel or any other paranormal manifestation, but I still believe they may exist – which is kind of idiotic, don’t you think?
17.) I visited Shakespeare’s House in Stratford on Avon and thought: “There is no one here. This is a scam. This is just an ordinary house.” This was before I’d ever heard of the Shakespeare “authorship question”.
18.) I believe that the works of Shakespeare were written primarily by Edward De Vere, Seventeenth Earl of Oxford, but am willing to accept that a number of other writers contributed with him acting as kind of a “writer-producer”.
19.) I am going to start doing Buddhist meditation soon. I have been saying this now for about 7 years.
20.) I have done thousands of “morning pages” and taken half a dozen or more, heavy-hitter Artists Way workshops. I would be hard pressed to say that they helped my creative work to any measurable degree.
21.) I have always wanted to live in London. And now I do. And I’m not quite sure how that happened really.
22.) I was not a cat person. Then my girlfriend/now wife acquired “Cheop, The Very Interesting Cat”. Now I am a cat person.
23.) I have read just about every book by Hubert Selby Jr EXCEPT “Last Exit To Brooklyn”. Why is that? I think it’s about fear of gratification, knowing that once I do, then I will have done it, and it will be over, and then I’ll be sad.
24.) I have very very powerful deja vu’s where I am convinced that I have vividly dreamed before of what is happening now. I feel confident that this means my brain needs a trip to to Jiffy Lube and that I do not have precognitive abilities. Although I do vividly remember locations from my dreams sometimes months after I’ve had the dream. I may not remember the dream itself, but the location sticks with me, as if I’ve been there.
25.) I wanted to go to art school when I graduated high school, but took the road less traveled with film school and that has made…I don’t know what difference that made. I mean, it made all the difference. It has made all the difference.
A heartfelt thanks to the large number of people who have so positively responded to “All The Hells” in its first weeks on Earth.
I wanted to direct your attention though to the new “All The Hells” image group at Flickr. The “All The Hells” site is “all my own work”, but the images in the Flickr group are a collection from a wide variety of photographers and artists, from several different continents, who have provided “All The Hells” some of its inspiration, vision, fuel for its fires.
Some of the images are terrifying, some sublime, some obscene, some inexplicable. They are all, as are the artists who created them, worth repeated study. I hope to provide in-depth pieces and posts on each of these artists as “All The Hells” unspools.
Until then, study them yourselves. I would avoid doing so just before bed, however, or if you’re alone, because you may begin to feel like…you’re not alone.
I’m happy as a sandboy to announce that our short film, “Unto Dust” is in the can. I wrote the movie, based on the short story by Herman Charles Bosman – South Africa’s Mark Twain. The indefatigable Mendy Groner produced and directed for Memetic Films.
Cast, crew, and technical support from all over South Africa have united to put Bosman’s biting, ironic glimpse of Voortrekker life on film – yes, film – including Gatehouse Commercials, Media Film Services, NFVF, and Waterfront Post. And the additional support of Qualified Health, which is not a film company but instead does some useless thing or other like providing health care.
My deep thanks to everyone involved, but especially to Mendy Groner and Memetic.
I’ve finished a first draft of the script and have handed it in to The Producers.
It’s pretty good. But not great. It’s a first draft. The fact that I can note that parts of it are downright crummy and other parts fat and lazy, and other parts some of the better work I’ve written, and not get too glum or too excited about any of it, is a sign that I’m actually growing up into an adult – an adult writer – which is something very few people ever get to do. It’s a privilege, an honor, a blessing, to not be so narcissistically wrapped up in the outcome and quality of work as I used to be. The work is the work, and the quality is none of my business. I’ve said that to myself a lot over the years, but I’ve been unconvinced most of the time. It usually sounds like I’m whistling through the graveyard, trying not to be frightened, becoming increasingly frightened with the increasing effort applied to avoid being frightened.
To be great is no great thing. To be right-sized is very, very rare.